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Dinosaurs in Literature, Art & History--Another Andean Dinosaur?

Bird Headed or Ceratopsian Headed Figure?... Page 27

Pre-Columbian Crested Dinosaur?

As we've discussed earlier in this section, there are many types of dinosaurs that have yet to be discovered. In addition, of those dinosaurs that have been discovered, it is quite difficult to determine exactly how they appeared in life. We say that to say that we present to you here in our opinion a depiction of a type of crested dinosaur, one that supposedly would have been extinct millions of years before this Andean artist lived.

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University of Helsinki
Ibero-American Center

Research Project on South Central Andes

"Formations and transformations of ethnic identities in the South Central Andes, AD 700–1825. A multidisciplinary study of tangible and intangible patrimony © Antti Korpisaari, Risto Kesseli & Martti Pδrssinen 2004 Photos related to Finnish-Bolivian research in the South Central Andes

Fig. 25. (Above) A small “dragon” peering over the edge of a c. 22-cm-tall kero. Photo Antti Korpisaari.

Source: WWW.Helsinki.Fi

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Here we don't mean to suggest that this Andes crested dinosaur is in fact a "Cryolophosaurus", left or a "T-Rex", center, or a Zupaysaurus rougieri (found in Argentina) as shown in this graphic, only that the identification of this piece as a type of crested dinosaur is a credible one.

LEFT:"Cryolophosaurus ellioti (cry-oh-LOAF-oh-SORE-us, meaning "cold crested lizard") is a large bipedal dinosaur with a bizarre crest running across its head that looks like a Spanish comb. Due to the resemblance to Elvis Presley's pompadour haircut in the 1950s, the dinosaur is also informally known as the Elvisaurus.

Cryolophosaurus was discovered in Antarctica by the paleontologist William Hammer, in 1991. It is the first carnivorous dinosaur to be discovered in Antarctica, and the first dinosaur of any kind from the continent to be officially named. Dating from the early Jurassic, it is also the earliest tetanuran theropod yet discovered, though it is not the most primitive.


Cryolophosaurus was about 6 to 8 meters (20 to 26 feet) long, which is significantly smaller than the largest Allosaurus, which reached up to 12 meters (40 feet) in length"

RIGHT:"Scientists exploring the remote badlands of northwestern China have unearthed the earliest known ancestor of Tyrannosaurus rex, the fierce predatory dinosaur whose image has haunted legends, films and the nightmares of children for more than a century.

The primitive ancestor that lived 160 million years ago was a mere 10 feet long when it was alive, compared to the monster T. rex, who measured more than 40 feet from head to tail and dominated all the dinosaurs on Earth more than 90 million years later. Unlike T. rex, the smaller creature bore a striking but fragile crest atop its head, three fingers on the hands of its surprisingly long forearms and a long, slender snout."

( does not believe that this animal was an ancestor of T-Rex, nor in the evolutionary dating scheme. We just wanted you to know what science says about these animals. We believe that the animal depicted lived a short time ago and was seen alive by the artist.)

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Compare this Andean dinosaur, left with one we've already presented, right at Page 21. There appear to be a number of similarities.

Bird Headed or Ceratopsian Headed Figure?

Though the Metropolitan Museum of Art describes the figure below as "bird-headed", here at we'd like to make a more outlandish suggestion; that this is in fact, clearly the head of a ceratopsian dinosaur.

If we are right, we think the implication inherent in using the head in this manner suggests that for this artist, the ceratopsian dinosaur was a "common" animal. What do you think? We think the association with the ceratopsian is clear. We'd be interested to know what bird this head actually resembles?

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"Bird-Headed Figure Whistle, 8th–9th century Mexico, Veracruz

Ceramic; H. 20 1/4 in. (51.4 cm)
The Michael C. Rockefeller Memorial Collection, Gift of Nelson A. Rockefeller, 1963 (1978.412.80)"

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